Campanula

Bellflower

The definitive bellflower, Campanulas melt your heart as they ring in the summer. The genus includes nearly 300 species, from dainty miniatures to stalwart uprights; we can’t resist using them in almost every garden design. Campanulas prefer filtered sun inland, full sun on the coast.

<i>Campanula alliariifolia</i>

Highly touted by Graham Stuart Thomas, who once referred to it as “a picture of poise and beauty,” this vigorous, clump-forming Campanula hosts a multitude of imposing one-sided spires, packed with creamy white bells from top to bottom. Prominent calyces clasp 2 in. long, nodding blooms, which elegantly illuminate the handsome, long-petioled heart-shaped leaves below.

Blooms July–August

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Campanula</i> ‘Birch Hybrid’

In light of the notion that “new” is not always better, there’s nothing like welcoming back a hard working old friend. Large showy lavender-blue bells flower freely, nodding on graceful 8 in. stems above tidy low mounds of toothed, crisp green foliage. Visually cooling brickwork, small rocks or stone paving in bright sunny spots, this carefree Campanula can be paired with Dianthus ‘Charles Musgrave’ or pink flowering Saponaria x oliviana.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 6" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Campanula carpatica</i> var. <i>turbinata</i>

All the way from the Carpathian Mountains comes this lively Campanula with winsome mounds of saw-toothed bright green foliage. A profusion of cup-shaped, papery blue flowers face the sky and embellish any rock garden or border.

Blooms late July–September.

Size: 6" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Campanula garganica ‘Dickson’s Gold’ (P-0188)

Each $7.50

AVAILABLE AUGUST 2018

<i>Campanula garganica</i> ‘Dickson’s Gold’

Cool your summer garden with the fresh colors of spring. In partial shade, the vibrant golden foliage and plentiful clear-water blue flowers of ‘Dickson’s Gold’ will literally glow with life. For even more delectable blue, plant with Salvia forsskaolii in the rockery or along a wall.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 6" high x 20" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Campanula glomerata</i> ‘Caroline’

Featured in showy rounded heads, pastel-hued flowers surmount stocky upright stems loosely attired with small sessile leaves. Each long-lasting cluster houses up to 15 small blooms, described by deep mauve tips, aged pale blushed petals and newer more saturated amethyst-pink ones for a distinctive 2-toned effect. Large long-petioled foliage—hairy, toothed, and ovate-shaped—forms a verdant slowly spreading basal clump that relishes even moisture and exhibits more heat tolerance than most glomerata species. Seldom offered and easily cultivated, ‘Caroline’ can be associated with pink-blooming Persicaria ‘Dimity’.

Blooms June–August

Size: 12" – 18" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

Large, waxy dark violet-blue flowers hang like lanterns on 3 to 4 ft. stems above glossy basal foliage. We plant this quick colonizing offspring of Campanula takesimana among other vigorous perennials such as Kniphofia ‘Bressingham Sunbeam’ at the front of the border.

Blooms June–October.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Though its name conjures visions of tumbling snow, this sublime and reliable perennial manifests glistening masses of large, bell-shaped snowy white flowers in well-formed clusters. The lovely, long-lasting summertime blooms are bolstered by stout branched stems and tidy, pointed midgreen leaves. Tailor-made for a cottage garden or mixed planting, ‘Avalanche’ becomes a refreshing counterpoint to warm-hued blossoms on a hot afternoon.

Blooms July–September

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Campanula lactiflora</i> ‘Loddon Anna’ <i>Campanula lactiflora</i> ‘Loddon Anna’

Blowsy branching heads of soft pink bellflowers crown sturdy stems lined in pointed leaves, and with Boltonia ‘Snowbank’ nearby create a perfect duet for harmony and support. We love this plant just as much in winter when we pull back the mulch to see its crisp, fleshy white buds slumbering away the cold months.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

You can’t see the foliage for the flowers in this soft puff of pale lavender-blue. We initially encountered this lovely dwarf Blooms of Bressingham selection of C. lactiflora nearly 30 years ago in a garden designed by Beatrix Ferrand, and we’re thrilled to have it available again. Conical panicles are packed with dainty bell-shaped blooms above a compact lush-looking medium green mound. For foliar contrast and a classic combination of blue and white, ‘Pouffe’ can accompany Francoa ramosa.

Blooms July–September

Size: 12" – 15" high x 15" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Campanula lactiflora</i> ‘Prichard’s Variety’

‘Prichard’s Variety’ is really quite a beauty, a classic border plant distinguished by an elegant profile. Abundant large, dome-shaped clusters of vibrant violet-blue flowers, brightened by a white center, crown the stout, branching stalks and verdant leaves.

Saponaria ‘Max Frei’ is a lively companion for this Campanula’s flowers and Achillea ‘Fireland’ adds warm red tones.

Blooms mid-July–September.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

A diminutive leafy mound of soft-looking fresh greenery with toothed margins cushions enchanting outward facing pure white, clustered bell flowers that bees and hummingbirds adore. Selected by revered plantsman Alan Bloom, ‘White Pouffe’s well-groomed compact character can be easily nestled into the frontlines of a border or atop a wall next to Phlox ‘Mini Pearl’ for foliar contrast and pearl-hued blooms.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 12" – 15" high x 15" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Campanula latiloba</i> ‘Alba’

This elegant Campanula forms a tidy mound of deep green evergreen rosettes that hugs the ground. Stiff, flowering stems, in no need of staking, rise midsummer, displaying a multitude of ridged, creamy chartreuse buds. The abundant, snow-white, star-shaped flowers, each accented by three curled white anthers, are perfect for the white garden, especially against Phlox ‘David’.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Campanula portenschlagiana</i>

Hailing from Croatia’s Dalmatian Mountains, this natty AGMwinner sets loose a lovely flood of 5-petaled bellstyle violet-blue flowers perched on wiry short branching stems. Small rounded dark green leaves form a closeknit, nearly evergreen mat beneath the long blooming summer display. With charm to spare, Campanula portenschlagiana’s low growing habit tackles heat if there’s adequate moisture, tumbles down slopes or containers and softens any rock’s hard edges.

Blooms June – September.

Size: 7" – 12" high x 12" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Campanula poscharskyana</i> ‘Blue Waterfall’

A cascading river of blue-violet, star-shaped blooms emanates from this low-to the-ground, vigorous beauty. Opening from pointy ribbed buds, each soothing, cool-colored flower is highlighted by a subtle white eye, amid good-looking toothed foliage that is darker and more tidy than the species. ‘Blue Waterfall’ is tailor-made for tumbling over walls or creeping along steps, can handle some drought once established and is basically trouble free. (pp#13161)

Blooms June–October.

Size: 8" – 10" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

This pre-glasnost Yugoslav émigré is a deservedly popular ground cover. Starry sprays of frosty white bells cover a low mat that can venture over walls or colonize a rock garden.

Blooms May–July.

Size: 8" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

This favorite of ours conjures images of a brilliant sky. The star-shaped blue-violet flowers open to reveal a white center that contrasts sharply with the deep green foliage. In a crevice or trailing over a rock wall with Geum ‘Beech House Apricot’, ‘Stella’s colors will contrast stellarly.

Blooms June – September.

Size: 6" – 8" high x 20" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Not one person has passed by this plant in our garden without stopping to admire its extraordinary bell-shaped cherry-red flowers, which are neatly edged in white. Brightened by pale, purple-spotted throats, they can extend over 3 in. If the timing is right, onlookers will also notice the unusual ridged buds, fastened by long, narrow green calyxes. The ample-sized, pendulous blooms and buds are especially striking against the backdrop of somewhat triangular, serrated green leaves.

Blooms July–mid-October.

Size: 20" – 2' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Droves of luscious nearly black buds unfurling pendulous, 3 in. long midnight purple bells above a compact mounded foundation make ‘Purple Sensation’ a coveted perennial. Introduced by Dutch nurseryman Mark van Kesteren, this sensational easy-care Campanula offers additional enticements: a noninvasive habit, well-branched stalks garbed with attractive heat tolerant foliage plus fanciful green calyces. (PP#16,027)

Blooms June–August

Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/4' high x 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

It’s hard to imagine how on earth ‘Kent Bells’ could be improved upon but that’s exactly what happened when this first-rate Campanula punctata and trachelium hybrid was introduced. Not as tall, more compact and slow to spread are all good reasons why ‘Sarastro’ should be invited into your garden, but then add glistening 2 in. dark violet-blue bells and it becomes simply indispensable.

Named for the Austrian nursery where it originated, this exceptional Bellflower boasts sturdy, 20 in. spikes laden with floral pendants that don’t need staking, and look downright gorgeous alongside yellow flowering Centaurea ruthenica.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 18" – 20" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Campanula sarmatica</i>

Gracing American gardens since the 1800s, this rarely offered, endangered Campanula fashions an attractive gray-green rosette of crinkled, arrow-shaped leaves, each with a rounded base, a somewhat fuzzy surface and long petioles. The dainty floriferous display of soft blue, flared bells borne on one-sided, upright racemes belies its rugged character.

A sun tolerant, clumping perennial, Campanula sarmatica’s quiet charm can be admired along a border’s edge or atop a wall accompanying Diascia ‘Coral Canyon’.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 16" – 20" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Campanula takesimana</i> <i>Campanula takesimana</i>

If fairies lived in flowers, they would certainly call this Korean Campanula home. White with hints of lilac on the outside and spotted maroon on the inside, the 2 in. lanternlike flowers lighten even the darkest of days. With reddish stems and large deep green basal foliage, this perennial spreads easily and can be grown in full sun on the coast.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 18" high x 2' 0" & spreading wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Campanula trachelium</i> ‘Bernice’

Profusions of showy violet-blue flowers, their delicate layers of petals opening widely, embellish strong leafy stems above a neat mound of jagged-edged basal foliage. An excellent choice for the rock garden, tuck ‘Bernice’ in a crevice with gray-leafed Salvia ‘Bee’s Bliss’ nearby.

Blooms June–July.

Size: 18" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Saturday Strolls & Plant Chats 2018!


Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Achillea 'Hella Glashoff'

Amazing Achilleas, Invigorate your summer plantings!

Amazing Achilleas…. These sturdy, dependable perennials produce small indivdual blooms that populate broad, flat flower heads, lending welcome horizontal elements to any garden bed. Ideal for bouquets, fresh or dried, the long-lasting blossoms range in color from alabaster to soft yellow and gold, as well as terracotta, pink and sassy red. Cut back their flowers in midsummer and enjoy a fall encore! Spicy scented, attractive fern-like green or gray-tinged foliage cloaks their strong straight stems. Slowly spreading and somewhat drought tolerant, Yarrow seem to thrive on neglect. They can handle low soil fertility plus coastal wind and salt spray. Be sure to check out our diverse on-line Achillea selections!

Invigorate your summer plantings.… A few simple maintenance techniques will help plants appear fresh throughout the upcoming dog days of summer. The addition of a chipped bark mulch or well-rotted compost, applied as a top-dressing, not only reduces water requirements, but generally makes it easier for plants to maintain perky looking leaves and vigorous habits. A July or early August trimming of long-blooming perennials, such as Nepetas and most Geraniums ensures myriad flowers that will keep on coming ‘til the first frost. Featured in this newsletter, you’ll find the fabulous plants that caught my eye as Boobah and I took our morning walk through the nursery and adjacent display borders this past week. Hopefully, you’ll have room to ensconce several of them in a well-traveled spot. Happy Digging!

Digging Dog's August 2018 Newsletter Link

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